All candidates in the Dominican Republic’s general elections are set to receive free commercials and promotional slots from the state radio stations on December 6. This historic decision has never been made in the nation’s political history.
At a public meeting here on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said, “I called the general manager of DBS (Dominica Broadcasting Service) radio today, and I told him that DBS needs to call independent candidates in this election and to offer them free airtime to promote themselves as candidates in this election.”
To ensure they have access to the people of Dominica and can explain their plans for them, he said, “They will acquire x number of commercials every day until election day, free of cost.”
The opposition’s officials have free access to all Dominica’s radio stations and other media outlets. They are free to choose anyone they like.
However, some candidates in the current general election campaigns have claimed that they have had trouble spreading their messages due to a lack of funds. Even on private stations, they have stated that they are still looking for promotional campaign spots.
On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Skerrit emphasized, “The people of Dominica who are eligible to participate in elections under our constitution have put their hands up; they have gone to get nominated, and we have 45 candidates in the 2022 general elections, more than in 2019 and more than in 2014,” Prime Minister Skerrit said on Wednesday night. However, several parties assert that they will not run in the elections.
Even though the United Workers Party, the regarded primary opposition party, called for a boycott of the elections, at least two minor parties and many independent candidates registered.
Investigators have pronounced every general election held in Dominica since its independence 44 years ago to be free and fair.
The UWP, which is seeking to elect a full-time leader this weekend but does not currently have one, has stated that it will only participate in the election once the electoral system has been changed. However, some criticized this claim as an excuse for the party’s lack of preparation before the snap election was announced.
Prime Minister Skerrit has also hinted during the current campaign that he will also propose, as is the case in some Caribbean nations, that independent senators representing churches, the business community, farmers, and trade unions be nominated for the next parliament to allow for a range of various viewpoints in the community.
At a public forum this week in the rural east, Greta Roberts, the DLP candidate for Grand Fond, said, “We fully appreciate that the upcoming period will bestow upon us a particular opportunity to govern, one that we will have to accept with humility and with respect.”
During the current campaign, Prime Minister Skerrit also hinted that he would propose, as is the case in some Caribbean nations, that independent senators representing the religious community, the business community, the agricultural community, and trade unions be nominated for the next parliament to allow for a range of viewpoints in the community.